2. The McVies – Four Christmases
Much like Vince Vaughn’s other Christmas film, Fred Claus, Four Christmases isn’t the most beloved or respected of movies, particularly when judged against some of the classics that also feature on this list. But in one aspect, it has almost all other Christmas films beat: family dysfunction.
When Brad and Kate’s Christmas trip to Fiji is ruined by inclement weather, the lie they told their families is exposed on national television, and they’re forced to visit each of their respective divorced parents for Christmas (hence the film’s title).
Convoluted plot aside, Four Christmases is a film that milks the idea of family dysfunction for all it’s worth, but there’s one particular family that puts the rest to shame, and that’s the McVies (Brad’s father and brothers and hosts of the first of their titular four Christmases).
Not only do they refuse to use Brad’s new name (he changed it from Orlando, which is perfectly understandable), but they physically assault him when he tries to speak calmly to them about setting some boundaries and cultivating some mutual respect. His father then goes on to insult his mother in front of his children, all while Brad is up on the roof installing a satellite dish, which he’s only doing as a result of his brothers’ bullying. For good measure, Brad then falls from the roof, which needn’t have happened if only his family weren’t so distinctly unpleasant toward him.
Four Christmases might be far from a Christmas treasure, but with a family like Brad’s, who wouldn’t want to spend to Christmas as far away as possible?